This is the leaflet distributed by Jews against zionism at the rally on Saturday
.FOR A UNITARY, DEMOCRATIC AND SECULAR PALESTINE
Today’s demonstration marks the 58th anniversary of the Nakba – the catastrophe of the creation of the state of Israel over the ruins of Palestine. Since then, the Palestinian people have remained dispossessed, divided, and oppressed, while Israel has become the world’s fourth-largest military power.
For most of this time, Israel has ruled over the 1967-occupied territories (the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan Heights) as well as the areas which it occupied in 1948. The Palestinians in these areas have suffered 39 years of brutal military rule, and the continuing theft of their land for Israeli settlements and “security needs”.
Jews Against Zionism calls for the immediate, complete and unconditional end of the 1967 occupation. At the same time, we recognise that this will not resolve the conflict and bring justice to the millions of victims of the 1948 occupation.
The establishment of the state of Israel saw the expulsion of ¾ million Palestinians and the theft of millions of acres of their land. These Palestinians, and their descendants, now live in exile, or in the miserable refugee camps of the West Bank and Gaza. Despite repeated UN resolutions, Israel has adamantly refused to allow any of these Palestinians to return.
Jews Against Zionism supports the Palestinian Right of Return, and recognises that without steps towards the implementation of this right there can be no prospect of a just and peaceful resolution of the conflict.
The stolen land – both private property and public land – was handed over by Israel to a body called the Jewish National Fund. This body, a registered charity in Britain and elsewhere, states that its object is “charitable purposes which are beneficial to persons who are of Jewish religion, race or origin”. Through this manoeuvre, over 90% of the land in the state of Israel – most of it stolen from the original Palestinian residents – has been made available to Jews only. Palestinian citizens of Israel are not allowed to live on this land.
Jews Against Zionism calls for the abolition of this and all other discriminatory
legislation in Israel, the dismantling of the Zionist structure of the Israeli state and full equality for all, regardless of ethnic/religious background or self-definition.
On the anniversary of the theft of Palestine, we reaffirm our opposition to the Zionist project, and to the dispossession and division of the Palestinian people. We call for a unitary, secular and democratic Palestine, the return of Palestinian refugees, and full and equal rights for Palestinians, Israeli Jews, and all other people living in the whole of Palestine.ZIONISM IS RACISM – AGAINST PALESTINIANS AND JEWS
Zionism, which purported to offer European Jews an escape route from persecution and suffering, has proved to be a cruel trap. Not only has it colonised Palestine and dispossessed the Palestinian people; it has also misled and oppressed Jews, and hijacked Jewish communities. Jews Against Zionism rejects this movement and ideology, which we see as profoundly racist, in its views and its practices, towards Jews as well as non-Jews.
As anti-Zionist Jews, we recognise the enormous suffering of the Palestinian people at the hands of the Zionist movement. We stand alongside them in their struggle for return and self-determination, and against the brutal occupation and the racist state of Israel. We work for a future Palestine in which Palestinians, Israelis and others, of any religion or none, Arabic or Hebrew speaking, will live in equality.
Although Zionism purports to be a reaction to racism, and in particular the murderous European anti-Jewish horrors of the 19th and 20th centuries, in reality it represents a capitulation to this racism. The Zionist movement argued that Jews could not fight against European racism. The only possible response was to leave Europe, and to establish an exclusive Jewish state. Many Zionists, from Theodor Herzl on, even argued that anti-Jewish racism was justified, since European Jews led abnormal lives, and could not be absorbed into European society.
This frequently led Zionist leaders into collaboration with the worst anti-Jewish racists. As Zionist leader Jacob Klatzkin wrote: “If we do not admit the rightfulness of anti-semitism, we deny the rightfulness of our own nationalism. . . Instead of establishing societies for defence against the anti-semites, who want to reduce our rights, we should establish societies for defence against our friends who desire to defend our rights”.
This collaboration reached its cynical peak during the Nazi period, when Zionist leaders obstructed rescue efforts by non/anti-Zionist Jews and put pressure on western governments not to admit Jews fleeing Germany, since this would render the Zionist project obsolete. Some Zionist leaders even directly collaborated with Nazi Germany, seeking to save the young and healthy Zionists while deceiving the others about their likely fate.
Opposition to Zionism thus requires also a principled opposition to anti-Jewish racism. We should not let the Zionists get away with the lie that they represent the interest of Jews, and we must ensure that racism plays no part in our struggle for a unitary, democratic and secular Palestine with equal rights for all.
Zionism both oppresses the Palestinians, and betrays the Jews.
Jews Against Zionism email@example.com
20 May 2006